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Project to strengthen disaster management capacity of Dominican and Guyanese women launched

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Participants at the launch

A project aimed at strengthening the disaster management capacity of women in Guyana and Dominica was launched on 11th November 2019 at Fort Young Hotel.

The project, entitled “Strengthening Disaster Management Capacity of Women in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Commonwealth of Dominica” is funded by the Government of Japan and is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados & OECS Office.

It will benefit small farmers, women’s groups and other vulnerable persons in agriculture located in three parishes across Dominica specifically, St. David, St. Paul and St. Patrick.

Dominica’s vulnerability to the shocks of climate change post-Hurricane Maria is more greatly understood by international counterparts.

KanayaToshihide, second Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago

In his address, Mr. KanayaToshihide, second Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago noted that Japan’s commitment to support Dominica is based on the appreciation of the impact of natural hazards; as an island themselves, they are annually affected by typhoons, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Japan has a long history of extending developing support to the Commonwealth of Dominica across various sectors to include fisheries and agriculture. He expressed his enthusiasm for the project and expects a successful implementation through the UNDP.

“This project supports small farmers and women’s groups. It connects with other work of UNDP in Dominica on Early Warning Systems, Community Emergency Response Teams, as well as post-disaster needs and building damage assessments.  The initiative will also support the recovery to resilience programme on the island which the UNDP Dominica Office is implementing,” said Mr. Magdy Martinez-Soliman, Resident Representative, Head of UNDP Barbados and the OECS.  Additionally,

Mr. Martinez-Soliman further stated that the project contributes to the advancement of four (4) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely: SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG11(Sustainable Cities) and SDG 13(Climate Action).

Head of UNDP Barbados and the OECS, Martinez-Soliman and Minister Joseph Isaac

In his brief remarks, Minister Isaac, pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal to support the implementation of the project initiative given that one of the main components of the project focuses on Early Warning Systems.  The Minster in his speech acknowledged the importance of the role of the Office of Disaster Management and the MET Office and expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to develop capacities in these areas to better serve and support an initiative that will further strengthen national resilience.

The Permanent Secretary Dr. Reginald Thomas, representing the Minister, expressed gratitude to both the Government of Japan and the UNDP for the initiative which, “fits into the Ministry’s plans and programs to build resilience, in keeping with the Government’s desire to be the first climate-resilient country in the world”.

Dr. Thomas further emphasized that the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector cannot be underestimated particularly given its far-reaching consequence in terms of food security and livelihood for the island.

“Rural communities are, therefore, in the forefront to battle the impacts and contribute to food security,” Dr. Thomas noted.

Dr. Thomas (r) with Mr. KanayaToshihide

During the ceremony, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan and the Resident Representative of the UNDP Barbados and the OECS presented tablets to the Government of Dominica to support the work of the Agriculture Extension staff.

The project launch coincides with the commencement of a Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) scoping mission to conclude on 15th November 2019. The PICSA initiative is spearheaded by the University of Reading and supported by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.





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Dominica

All set for 2020 Calypso Finals tonight

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Former Calypso Monarch, Tasha ‘Tasha P” Peltier is to set the ball rolling in the much-anticipated Calypso Finals competition scheduled for later today at Windsor Park Sports Stadium.

Next in line is De Webb, followed by Karessah, Jaydee, Bobb, De Hunter, De Healer, Observer, nine-time calypso King Dice and finally, newcomer, St Lucian, Fitzroy ‘Bingo’ Leon.

President of the Dominica Calypso Association, Davidson ‘Observer’ Victor has called on Dominicans to ensure that calypso, as an integral part of Dominica’s culture, remains part of the island’s landscape.

“The other music genres, they are nice; you can have a very good time on them but calypso takes time off to address the real hard issues pertaining to governance and also pertaining to other social ills that goes on within the society,” he said. “This is an art form we should never ever allow calypso not to be part of the landscape of Dominica, because calypso is a very integral part of the cultural aspect which really highlight a lot of the things a lot of people would like to say individually, but cannot say it.”

He said the fact that calypso provides calypsonians, one at a time, with a very valuable platform to be able to highlight something that impacts “so many people in just one song” and “we never allow us to lose that,” Victor stated.

Guest artists are reigning Road March King, Sour Sour, Inciter, Jamma B, Lady S, Tronada, a band from Grenada band called “Grenadian Invasion” and reigning Junior Calypso Monarch, Malik “De Examiner” Darroux.

The judging panel includes Chief Judge, Marlon Marie, Al Monelle, Nadine Riviere, Rena Stephens, Evelina Baptiste, Reginald Lafleur, Roland Royer, and Daniel Seraphine. The two reserve judges are Eustace Thomas and Davidson Lloyd.

Tickets cost $80 standing and sitting $125.

Tickets are available at Bull’s Eye Pharmacy in Goodwill, J&P Pharmacy in Roseau, Fone Shack in Portsmouth and the Dominica Calypso Association (Calypso House) in Bathe Estate.

The show begins at 8:30 pm and will be carried live on Comesee TV and Vibean TV.





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Police vow to do ‘what is necessary’ to ensure peaceful carnival

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A carnival street jump-up scene in Roseau

There is expected to be an increased police presence in the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Police Chief, Daniel Carbon said the decision is to ensure the prevention of violence and crime during the two days of celebration.

“The police will be in full force on both days. We have been having incidents in carnival; two years ago, and before that, we have been experiencing some deaths during carnival street jump up,” he said at a police press conference on Friday.

Carbon stated that the general public is entitled to revel and enjoy themselves while parading but the police have a responsibility.

“We will do what is necessary to be done lawfully so, to ensure that the carnival is peaceful [and] people will enjoy themselves in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility,” he said.

The Police Chief indicated that for the past few years, officers have been putting in place CCTV cameras around the city of Roseau.

He said these cameras will assist in monitoring persons in real-time as carnival progresses.

“We are not putting the CCTV to spy on people unlawfully but we have a responsibility to gather our intelligence…we have to take measures to prevent crime and…to detect crime.”

Carnival Monday activities are scheduled to begin at 4:00 am and end at 10:00 pm and Tuesday’s parade will begin at 8:00am and end at 10:00 pm.

Carbon called on the general public to conduct themselves properly on both days and if any crime is seen committed, to report it to the police immediately.





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‘I worked very hard’ – Miss Dominica 2020 (update with photos)

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Dominica’s 2020 Carnival Queen has attributed her success in the competition to hard work. 20-year-old Savahnn James beat six other contestants to clinch the title at the Miss Dominica 2020 pageant which was held on Thursday night.

James won the awards for Best Talent and Best Response to Question on her way to the crown.

“I am very excited; I am very happy and I worked very hard,” she told reporters shortly after being crowned.

She said her response to question gave her the edge in the competition.

“I was very strong; I was very confident in the way that I was answering so I think that gave me the edge,” James said.

With her platform ‘Sustainable Living Through Renewable Energy,’ James said she plans to work with the environmental clubs to help bring awareness on the topic.

“I am very passionate about the environment, so I think it’s important that I make my platform not just a platform, but a lifestyle,” she stated.

James said she is looking forward to represent Dominica at the regional pageants.

She advised any young women who plan to participate in the Miss Dominica pageant to “go for it.”

Shannon Connor St Hilaire secured the 2nd runner-up spot. She won the awards for Miss Photogenic, Best Costume, Best in Costume, and Best Evening Wear

The first runner-up position went to Primrose Angel David. She won the awards for Best Swimwear, Best in Swimwear and Best in Evening Wear.

Melanie Charles took the award for Miss Amity.

The other contestants were Kadisha Joseph of Fond Cole, Kimra Charles also representing Fond Cole and Elnarrah Emmanuel representing Kingshill and Grandbay.

The pageant took place at Windsor Park Sports Stadium.

Meantime, Events Coordinator at the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) Marva Williams said all the contestants were amazing and put on a great show.

“The contestants were amazing,” she said.

According to her, a realistic assessment of the show will show clearly that there are a lot of talented young people in Dominica.

She congratulated the new Miss Dominica and her team as well as Primrose David and Shannon St Hilaire.

“They all did an amazing job and it was a really tight competition,” Williams said.

Williams mentioned, however, there are a lot of things that need to be reviewed.

“We have recognized failures in certain avenues and we are committed to put things in place to help members,” she stated.

Williams revealed that registration is open to other young women who want to participate in the 2021 National Queen pageant.

“We know that the winning prize is a full scholarship from the government of Dominica to study at a University on any subject of their choice and I think that is an opportunity young ladies could take,” Williams stated.





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